Known as the “Merry Mex” and thought of someone as possessing an outgoing personality, Lee Buck Trevino actually was somewhat of a recluse during his playing career, rarely venturing outside the hotel during tournaments when he wasn’t at the course.


Trevino didn’t have the country club upbringing that his contemporary Jack Nicklaus had, but that didn’t stop him from reaching the pinnacle of the sport.  He won six major championships and 29 tour events overall.  Trevino started playing golf by sneaking onto golf courses and practicing.  Later, he began caddying at the Dallas Athletic Club, where during his spare time would hit up to 300 balls a day.  He honed his distinctive swing through years of hard work.  Dave Pelz later said that Trevino was the most accurate ballstriker he had ever measured.


Trevino entered the military at the age of 17, joining the Marines.  After his discharge, he became a club professional in El Paso, Texas.  In 1964, a famous series of gambling matches between Trevino and Ray Floyd became legendary.  Floyd’s backers arranged for him to play against Trevino at El Paso Country Club.  Trevino went out to the parking lot to meet Floyd and took his clubs.  Floyd asked who his opponent was.  “Me,” replied the “cart boy.”  Despite shooting in the mid-60s for the first two days, Floyd was beaten both times by Trevino.  Floyd’s backers deserted him, but he insisted on playing a third day against Trevino, double or nothing.  Floyd’s eagle on the last hole nipped Trevino by a shot, and afterwards, Floyd swore off gambling against players he didn’t know.


Trevino became a force on the Champions Tour, winning another 29 events.  He started curtailing his schedule in 2007 and today is basically retired, except for playing in the annual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Georgia.  He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Claudia.

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